I am learning to remember there once lived a person named Gezela Lorinz nee Noilander. She was born in Oradea Mare, Romania, 1885 and died in Auschwitz, 1944, aged 59. May her memory be for a blessing.
In April it will be 70 years since the end of The Shoah (The Holocaust). I once wrote a 100 word challenge on what it means to me. I have reprinted it here:
Lest We Forget
History and yet a part of my life. Peers without grandparents, uncles, aunts, or cousins. Friends' parents sobbing behind closed doors. Children who are replacements for beloved families lost. Roles they can never live up to. I know them.
Born only 17 years after, I've spent my whole life trying to squash those 17 years smaller. Watching every film archive, reading every book, trying to get closer. Why? Because I was bequeathed the collective memory to carry and safeguard lest we forget. I remember something I never experienced. We all do. Like stories of your babyhood you remember only from the repeated telling.
We have always talked about the six million Jews who were killed in Europe between 1938 and 1945 and we always knew people who were there with some of those six million and who, by some miracle, survived. People who put names and lives to the numbers, people who loved them, people who grew up with them, people who were directly bereaved.
Now those survivors are very old and in another generation the number 6,000,000 will be a number without personal connections. In his last letter dated Vilna 1941, David Berger wrote, "I should like someone to remember that there once lived a person named David Berger."
We are shifting our focus from numbers to real people. For 70 days from the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the extermination camp at Auschwitz I will be taking part in an enormous project spanning nine countries and in four languages. The launch video describes it best:
I shall be learning for Gezela Lorinz nee Noilander, born in Oradea Mare, Romania, 1885 and died in Auschwitz, 1944, aged 59.
I am linking this post to Give Thanks Thursday on Mummy from the Heart because while we remember and mourn, we also give thanks for what we have achieved since those dark days of The Shoah.
I give thanks that those of us who survived are in a position to take part in such an amazing project to remember and honour our family who did not. (I read recently that all Ashkenazi Jews are at most 5th cousins so the word family is not used lightly.)
I give thanks that we have our own country and our own army to protect us against racial and religious crimes.
I give thanks that we live in an age of technology whereby it is easier to share knowledge and come together to prevent anything like this happening again.
70 Days for 70 Years starts on Sunday and I shall be blogging about it regularly.